Western League Premier Division: Slimbridge 1 Hallen 3
8:00pm Thursday 15th August 2013 in Thornbury Sport
SLIMBRIDGE are still searching for their first Western League points after they paid the price for some early sloppy defending against Hallen.
With just three minutes on the clock, Tom Collett found himself through on goal and put the visitors into the lead.
Freddy Ward pulled a goal back with a neat lob after ten minutes, but within five minutes, Slimbridge’s failure to clear a corner left Andy Cook with a simple chance to restore Hallen’s lead.
Ten minutes before half-time, Hallen edged further ahead when Ben Bament finished off a neat passing move.
Although Slimbridge improved in the second period, and chances were created for both Dean Bernard and Adam Hughes, Hallen held on to record a deserved victory.
- The Swans travel to Cheltenham Saracens on Saturday for an FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round tie (3pm).
Gillingham Town 2 Slimbridge 0
MANAGER Leon Sterling remained upbeat following Slimbridge’s defeat to an impressive Gillingham Town team.
“The difference on the day was that they were more clinical in front of goal than we were,” said Sterling after his side’s first ever game in the Western League.
“They are a good side, and I fully expect them to up there at the end of the season.
“We worked hard as a team, which I was very pleased with. There’s no shame in losing to a good side, especially as they were able to field a full strength team.
“We are still waiting to get some bodies back, and that will allow us to become a little more competitive.”
The Swans paid the price for not converting a spell of early pressure into goals at Hardings Lane, and were picked off by a Gillingham side who have set their sights on promotion to the Southern League this season. Slimbridge made a good start as they played down the slope and Jamie Martin forced a good save from Gills’ Keeper Jamie Beale with five minutes on the clock.
It took 15 minutes before Gillingham created their first opportunities. Firstly Ryan Murray, who had a very effective game at right back, shot wide from outside the box, and the same player set up Lee Gale, who forced Dave Evans into his first save of the afternoon.
It was against the run of play when the home side took the lead on 25 minutes – the ball fell to Harry Baker on the edge of the Slimbridge box as the Gills’ pressed, and he threaded his shot past Evans and into the corner of the net.
The momentum of the game changed, and Gillingham pushed for a second goal – Baker forced Evans into action and then Ben Thompson dispossessed Tom Cole, firing in a good shot which Evans pushed out for a corner.
The second-half picked up exactly where the first had finished, this time with Gollingham playing down the slope, and it only took them a minute to notch their second goal. Aaron Rodriguez, who was causing all sorts of problems for the visitors played in Thompson, who fed Gale to slide the ball home.
Slimbridge were penned back in their own half, and after Sterling had been booked for a clumsy tackle, Gary Bowle forced Evans into action again with the resulting free kick.
It took until the 73rd minute for Slimbridge to fashion a second half opportunity, and when it arrived, Johhny Cant’s shot went wide, after he played a good one-two with Paul Carter to find some space.
The final chance of the game fell to Slimbridge, but Freddy Ward’s effort following a Carter corner drifted just wide.
Slimbridge: Evans, Robinson, Cole, Sterling, Wellon, Turner, Carter, Ward, Roberts (Bernard 69), Martin (A Nash 57), Cant Man of the Match: Dan Robinson.
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